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Fiji Time: 10:35 PM on Friday 18 April

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Haven for ancient predator

Ilaitia Turagabeci
Monday, July 25, 2011

SHARKMAN Manoa Rasigatale hopes the sanctuary given to sharks by the people of Cakaudrove will reward them in tourism dollars.

He said live sharks were worth more than sharks dead.

"I thank the Turaga na Tui Cakau, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, for his assurance that Cakaudrove will support the protection of sharks. He has said that the island of Benau will be a sanctuary for sharks," said Mr Rasigatale, who leads the campaign for shark conservation.

The sharkman, working with Pew Environment Group and the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL), is pushing for legislation to turn Fiji's waters into a shark haven.

The Ministry of Fisheries is drafting a proposal for Cabinet to approve. Mr Rasigatale said Cakaudrove, and the rest of Fiji, should learn from countries that have given sharks sanctuaries.

He said the Bahamas earned $US78million ($F137.9m) annually from shark-related tourism activities.

The confederacies of Kubuna, Burebasaga and Tovata are supporting the campaign.